A Senior Research Fellow at Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) where I have in the past co-directed the Conspiracy and Democracy and Technology and Democracy projects. The Conspiracy project finished in November 2018.
In 2020 I co-founded (with Professor Steven Connor) the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy in CRASSH with generous five-year funding from the Minderoo Foundation. I am the Chair of the Centre’s Advisory Committee.
In addition, I am:
Director of the Press Fellowship Programme at Wolfson College, Cambridge
Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University
The Technology columnist of the London Observer newspaper.
My most recent book, From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet, is published by Quercus Books. Current projects include:
- 95 Theses about Technology, which is currently a website and will eventually become a book — among other things.
- 100 Not Out: A lockdown Diary, now available as a Kindle book
- A Reader’s Guide to Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism — in the works now.
- Along with Sir Richard Evans and David Runciman, I was a PI on a five-year Leverhulme-funded project on Conspiracy and Democracy which is based in the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH);
- I have occasionally taught on the Masters in Public Administration course in the Department of Politics and International Studies
- I supervise students on the MSt (Masters In International Relations) course in the department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge
- Internet columnist of the London Observer. You can find an archive of my Networker columns here and some of my essays and longer pieces here;
- Former Vice President and now Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College where I run the College’s Press Fellowship Programme;
- I was Academic Adviser to the Arcadia Project at Cambridge University Library a project that ran from 2008-2012 and had 19 Arcadia Fellows;
- Author of a widely-read history of the Internet;
- One of the authors of the Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property sponsored by the Royal Society of Arts;
- An investor in technology start-ups;
- A keen (nay fanatical) photographer;
- A grandfather (since November 2009);
- A daily blogger. My Blog — Memex 1.1 — is named after Vannevar Bush’s original concept of a system for associative linking which eventually was realised as hypertext and later as the World Wide Web. The story in told in some detail in my book, A Brief History of the Future: the origins of the Internet. The blog is also available as a daily newsletter.
Best email address for me: john.jnaughton [at] gmail.com
Hi-res mugshot of me is available here on a CC-by licence (which means you must credit the photographer, Sebastiaan Ter Burg).